Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says he will make an announcement soon about the resumption of the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine’s rollout was temporarily paused after reports from the United States that a tiny number of those vaccinated experienced rare cases of blood clots.
US recommends pausing administration of J&J vaccine over blood clots concerns:
Speaking during a visit to Cape Town, Mkhize says a few consultations were still taking place ahead of his announcement on the resumption of the J&J vaccine programme.
“We going through final consultation. Already SAPHRA is comfortable that we can proceed, still last consultations we are doing. Quite comfortable matter will be resolved in such a way that in a few days’ time, we can indicate that the J&J process will proceed.”
South Africa has secured more than 60 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Minister says the vaccines from J&J and Pfizer have been paid for.
Minister Zweli Mkhize hopes suspension of J&J vaccine rollout will only be for a few days:
SA still on track for Phase 2 of vaccine rollout
Mkhize says he’s confident the country is still on track to roll out its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The process will start mid-May. It will prioritise senior citizens over 60 with comorbidities.
Mkhize says those over 40 will also be eligible to be vaccinated. “The second phase starts on 18 May for six months until 17 October. That phase will focus on senior citizens with co-morbidities and vulnerable. Also, the over 40 category identified as a huge target, frontline setting like teachers, police, taxi drivers, hotels and so on.”
Mkhize says he’s satisfied with the Western Cape’s plan to undertake the second phase. This is after Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said the province was ready to begin.
“We have worked it out in the process flow, now we’re here to see it in action what it looks like and ability to vaccinate 30 000 – 40 000 citizens per day. That is what needs to get to. We only had Sisonke, but from the middle to the end of the month, we picked up numbers on two various vaccination we have to administer,” Winde said.